What is Dementia Essentials?

Dementia Essentials is a course which commenced in October 2016 when Dementia Training Australia commenced operations. It replaces the previously named Dementia Care Essentials. Like its predecessor, Dementia Essentials is a Vocational Education and Training (VET) level qualification. It refers to the Unit of Competency named CHCAGE005 Provide support to people living with dementia. While it is a stand alone course, Dementia Essentials sits within the broader training programs covered by Certificate III Individualised Support/Ageing and Certificate IV Aged Care.

Who delivers the course?

Dementia Essentials is a nationally recognised Australian qualification. It can only be delivered by a registered training organisation (RTO). On behalf of Dementia Training Australia, the course is being delivered nationally by Dementia Australia. The national RTO management is located in Victoria, and Certificates of Attainment for Dementia Essentials will be issued by Dementia Australia -Victoria.

The course is delivered by VET-qualified educators with extensive industry experience in the health, residential aged care and community care sectors. The venue may be a central community location, or an “in-house” training room within a care facility.

How long does the course take?

The course is three full days. This may take the form of three consecutive days, or three days over three weeks. It depends on where the course is held, and whether there is a host site involved.  As Dementia Essentials is an accredited competency-based course  participants are required to attend all 3 days and complete assessment work – a key component is a supervised workplace assessment.

How much does the course cost?

Dementia Essentials is government funded. It is offered free to individuals working in the Health, Community Care and Aged Care sectors  who provide support to people living with dementia. Typical class sizes are 15-22 participants.

What is the course content?

Dementia Essentials is a course which maps developing skills onto the Inquiry and Implementation streams of the DTA Learning Pathway. The content addresses the following topics:

  • A person-centred approach and effective communication;
  • The nature of dementia and its impacts;
  • Changed behaviours and effective responses;
  • Activities to promote well-being; and
  • Workplace issues, community support and services available.

The goal of the course is promote early foundation skills which promote thinking about dementia and support change in practice for ‘doing’ on the DTA knowledge translation framework.

How is the course assessed?

Assessment comprises an “open book” in-class written assessment followed by a workplace supervisor observation checklist. The observation checklist provides evidence towards the participant demonstrating their learning in their practice, supporting  2 people living with dementia. Workplace observation sign off will be the responsibility of the participant’s supervisor.

How can I find courses near me?

Confirmed dates and venues are listed in the courses database for Dementia Training Australia.

To  find out about possible upcoming courses, please contact your nearest office for Dementia Australia

For general enquiries, including how to include Dementia Essentials in a Tailored Training Package, please contact DTA


Last updated: February 19, 2017